It’s the gold-rush formula for getting rich quick off the internet. It’s been around for years, but in spite of the fact that most wannabe affiliate marketers fail spectacularly at it, the craze for affiliate marketing goes on and on.
The vast majority of affiliate marketing newbies enter the business armed with only two things: a pair of rose-tinted glasses and a dream of becoming the next `Super Affiliate’ who makes several millions off affiliate commissions and then becomes a guru of sorts, peddling his/her experience as inspirational speaker in the affiliate circuit.
Caught up in the glamour of this money-making venture, they join every affiliate program under the sun, willy-nilly choosing niches they may or may not have a knack for, throwing on a poorly-developed website loaded with affiliate links and then holding their breath, expecting the commissions to just roll in.
When that does not happen, they declare affiliate marketing to be a dud enterprise, and give up before they’ve even given their business a fighting chance to make it. Because they did not have the one thing that could well have written a winning plot for their personal affiliate marketing story: patience.
Patience is in short supply in the affiliate marketing business. Nobody’s willing to see this as a long-term game, and therefore are quite unwilling to invest time, strategy and effort to build a solid business from ground up. The race for the low-hanging fruit is so intense that unless you’re rushing to make a grab for it, others are going to get there first.
The problem is in this perception. That there is a finite number of opportunities, and therefore time – and impatience – is of the essence.
So let’s look more closely at just this one key element of affiliate marketing that is the base root of so many affiliate failures.
EXPECTING GOOGLE TO RANK YOU OVERNIGHT
• Forget ranking, Google is not going to index your new website overnight either. Building enough authority to encourage Google to send you a high volume of organic traffic is a long-term game. You got to keep working at it, knowing that some day your consistent efforts will probably pay off.
EXPECTING TO MAKE MONEY OVERNIGHT
• All the webinars and Youtube tutorials you watched assured you of overnight success, didn’t they? Join this affiliate funnel, use this crazy, backlink-building tool, sign up for this intensive one-hour tutorial and you’ll be earning thousands of dollars in commission from your niche website. Right off the bat.
Reality is, you have no connection, you have no readymade traffic source and you have a thin, spammy website with little or no content.
Unless you have the patience to actually create a high-quality, worthwhile content platform – which takes a lot of effort and time – no fool customer is going be inclined to shop from you.
BEING UNINTERESTED – AND UNINFORMED — ABOUT YOUR NICHE
• Choosing the right niche is a crucial aspect of affiliate marketing. Everybody knows for example, that weight loss products and muscle building products and video gaming products are highly profitable niches. But are you really interested in these sectors? Enough to study them, research them, want to become an authority in them before you choose to inform, educate and convert your traffic?
If the answer is no, then why are you in it? And how do you propose to find the wellspring of patience needed to keep writing about it, day after day?
PROMOTING HIGH-TICKET PRODUCTS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR NICHE
• Choosing a niche means committing to it. (Which is why you have to be patient and take time making that choice in the first place.) But now that you have a niche website up and running, you cannot resist other high-priced products that have nothing to do with your niche. Commission, after all, is commission, right?
Yes. Right. If you’re Amazon or Ebay.
THINKING BANNER ADS MAKE INTERESTING READING
• So you don’t have the patience to write interesting, original content to keep visitors from bouncing off your website. Instead you fill the empty, white spaces on your web pages with banner ads. A variety of affiliate banner ads, all knocking heads with each other on the sidebars, headers and footers. Why not color the pages yellow, while you’re at it too?
NOT BOTHERING WITH EMAIL COLLECTION
• Unless you begin your online affiliate business with a Mailchimp or Aweber or some other email management set-up, you’re losing a golden opportunity to upsell customers who have already purchased products using your affiliate link.
Looking just at one-time sales is taking the lazy way out, and leaving a ton of money on the table because there is always way more money to be made from repeat customers who are interested in ancillary products to enhance the first product they bought from you.
Also, imagine for purposes of argument that Google changes its algorithm and your website gets penalized for some grey/black hat practices. So now organic traffic is gone. If you had the patience to build an email list in the first place, you’d still be holding onto a database of interested customers!
As writer and editor, Nabanita (Nita) has worn many hats. She started her career as a magazine journalist – and launched and edited India’s largest-selling weekend magazine (`Brunch’) before moving to the United States in 2007. She has also written travel books (for the award-winning `To Asia With Love’ series) and countless columns and articles for newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia. She has been working in digital content marketing for over 10 years now with a relentless curiosity about what drives and motivates people when they’re interacting in the online space.